The NDIS or National Disability Insurance Scheme is a scheme designed to help people with disabilities live an independent and fulfilled life. The scheme has been constantly growing throughout the past years, looking to finally be in full effect this year. Since 2019, the NDIS has been making an extra effort to ensure the quality of the services provided and has introduced the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. This separate organization is in charge of making sure everything is functioning according to regulations, which, of course, entails regular audits that might be stressful and complicated for NDIS providers to prepare for. The key is, however, in properly informing yourself, so to help you out, here are a few tips.
Be aware of the NDIS Commission’s requirements
Above all, you should familiarize yourself with all the regulations and requirements that the NDIS Commission enforces. You and all your employees must know and act in accordance with the NDIS Code of Conduct that ensures that people with a disability are treated how they should be. Moreover, you need to have complaint management and incident management plans in place and your workers even have to go through screening. Therefore, the first step to preparation is educating yourself and all your employees about these requirements.
Learn about your options
When the time comes for an audit, don’t just go for the first option and settle for it right away. There are eight different companies that deal with NDIS audits throughout the country, and you are free to choose which one you want to work with. Their prices might differ greatly as well as their availability; in addition, you might simply find one company easier to communicate and work with than the other. So, ask for quotes from a few places and only then go ahead and schedule your audit. Note that since the number of professionals working in this area is quite limited, you should keep time constraints in mind, especially if the time you need to renew your registration is close. At the same time, be aware that you will be paying for the travel expenses of your auditors so looking for firms that are near your premises can also save you money.
Verification vs. certification
Another important thing to learn about when you are preparing for your audit is the difference between verification and certification, as the two are rather different processes that come with different costs – and which one you’ll need depends on your registration groups. Generally, the NDIS Commission will tell you which one of the two you need, but you should still do your homework on what each entails.
Enroll in a program to learn about the process in detail
Since the process of preparation for the NDIS Commission quality audit can be a complicated and daunting process, you might not feel confident enough to go through all the steps by yourself in fear of missing something. Thankfully, there are ways to facilitate this process and be confident when the time for your audit comes. For instance, there are preparation programs such as the one by PROVIDERplus that take you through the process at your own pace and provide support in case you have questions or you run into an obstacle.
Prepare for questions
Finally, be prepared for the audit day. As said in the beginning, you should educate your employees before the auditors show up on site. When we’re talking about on-site audits, it is essential that all of you know and understand your own policies, as the auditors might ask questions from you or your employees and you want to express just how seriously you take this. Moreover, be prepared that not everything might be perfect. You will get feedback from the auditors that you should know how to respond to, and there might be things you have to change before you can pass your audit. Don’t be caught off-guard.
The NDIS Commission quality audit might look overwhelming right now, but if you follow all the aforementioned tips and prepare well, you will be able to pass it without any problems. Don’t forget that turning to professionals for a bit of help is always an option if it will spare you headaches and better your chances.